VPN : secure private networking via the Internet using Windows XP

by Johannes Helmig [Published on 2 Sept. 2003 / Last Updated on 2 Sept. 2003]

Windows XP Home and Professional include some tools to use the Internet for more than
just to "surf": to view WWW-webpages in HTML-format.

But the Internet has also its security problems, because any information transmitted from your system (like: your credit-card number , you enter on making an online purchase), is transmitted via several stages to the destination server, and somebody could listen in to that transmission:


Using VPN = Virtual Private Network, the Internet can be used for companies for internal use ,
allowing access to an internal e-Mail system ( like : Microsoft Exchange), an ERP system
(Enterprise Resource Planning, like SAP) or network access )::

-have the "road warriors" (salesmen, service technician,..) connect to the
home office via Internet (instead of making expensive long distance,
sometimes intercontinental, phone calls)


- connect branch offices in different locations (countries, continents)
via Internet (instead via expensive leased lines, like: Frame-relay)

Using Microsoft VPN, you can also create a secure private network, connecting PC's at home
in different location.



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using VPN, a secure connection is established via the Internet :

There are several companies offering now devices/support for VPN connections.

Microsoft support for Virtual Private Networking:
available as Client as FREE download from Microsoft as
part of the Dialup-Networking 1.2 Upgrade
included as Client
NT4included in NT4 Workstation and Server as Client and Server
included with Windows 2000 Professional and Server
Included with Windows XP Home and Professional :
- define VPN-server to allowing an incoming VPN connection
- define the VPN out-going connection
- make the VPN connection
VPN using PPTP is compatible between different Windows versions:
- you can make connections between Windows95, 98, ME, NT4,2000 and XP

The Author — Johannes Helmig

Dr.Johannes Helmig is working as Director, Technical Knowledge Management in the Belgium office of Gerber Technology where he is involved in Customer Service and internal training, with special interest in Networking.

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